Geoff Thomas

Another first for Farnborough '98 is the public debut of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, two years later than hoped for by the Royal Air Force, but welcome nonetheless. The Flight Daily News picture of the aircraft is taken over The Needles, a group of rocks on the south-west tip of the Isle of Wight, off Britain's south coast.

A direct descendent of the ubiquitous C-130 Hercules which first flew in 1954, the new version has taken far longer to flight test and certificate than anticipated.

Lockheed Martin blames integration issues with the aircraft's new digital avionics along with wing stall and tail icing problems caused by the sophisticated propellers.

Overall, the aircraft has taken four times more testing certify than anticipated, resulting in the two-year delivery delay to the RAF.

Source: Flight Daily News